Every week during the Lakewood service, we have a time of prayer. Members and visitors can pray one-on-one with one of the 500 volunteer prayer partners. Both Joel and I are prayer partners, and each of us will usually pray for two or three people during this portion of each service.
I remember one particular Saturday night service when a woman came up to me and asked that I pray for her marriage. She was about 50 years old, and she began to tell me that that her husband had always been so hard to live with, but even more so lately. She recited two or three of his most current offenses, and then to my surprise, she handed me three sheets of notebook paper. She said, "Here, read this. It is a list of the things he has done just in the last two weeks." I opened the pages to see listed one offense after the other scribbled in various colors of ink and pencil. "He's done all this in just two weeks?" I asked.
"Yes," she said. "I didn't think anyone would believe me, so I have been writing them down."
"Why so many colors of ink?" I asked.
"Well," she said, "I write them down as quickly as I can so I won't forget them, and I grab the first pen or pencil I can find. If I wait too long, I'll forget."
I thought, wouldn't her life be so much better if she did forget? I prayed for her and prayed especially that she would learn to forgive and look for the good in her husband.
We all have times when we are disappointed in relationships, and we all have times when we disappoint others, too. Whenever someone disappoints you or does not meet your expectations, you have a choice to either dwell on those disappointments or overlook them. However, if you really want to succeed in your relationships, there is a third choice. Instead of focusing on that person's shortcomings, immediately find something about them that exceeds your expectations. Most of the time, you will find dozens of good qualities in that person and only a few things that irritate you. When those irritations come up, remind yourself of all the good things and focus on the benefits of being in a healthy relationship. Remember, what you focus on will be magnified. When you focus on the good, you magnify the good and set the tone for healthy, loving connections in your relationships!
Love…keeps no record of wrongs. (1 Corinthians 13:4-5, NIV)